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A FOURTH-OF-JULY TRIBUTE TO REAL AMERICAN, QUENTIN TARANTINO

This holiday weekend, we celebrate the young, 237th birthday of a country with incredible ideals and a very complicated past (and present, for that matter).

So in honor of Lady Liberty, we salute quintessential American, Quentin Tarantino.

What. Weird choice,  you say?

Sure, the dude often catches  heat for saying wacky, zany things and for pushing the envelope in his work (The Violence! The Ugly Language!).

But he’s also brought some of the most memorable feminist characters (The Bride in Kill Bill volumes 1 and 2, Jackie Brown in Jackie Brown) and racially-charged situations (Inglorious Bastards and Django Unchained) into the zeitgeist.

While many argue whether his messages are good, this is a guy who flips archetypes to show cultural underdogs (women, Jewish and black folks, among others) as strong heros, and gets people thinking and talking about race and gender in a introspective way.

Call it artful activism.

In today’s America, one populated by exhausted, overworked people who would rather spend down time mind-numbing to the Kardashians than using our voice to get active in the political process or civil rights game, this type of thoughtful entertainment feels more and more rare.

So with that in mind, we salute Mr. Tarantino for shocking us into  conversations about race, feminism and American culture in a way that no politician or media feed can.

FEATURE PHOTOGRAPH BY LEVON BISS
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